Visa waiver inclusion nearing: US official
CNAWASHINGTON -- Taiwan's application for inclusion in the United States' visa waiver program (VWP) is continuing to head toward the finish line and progress will be in sight in the very near term, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs said Tuesday.
October 6, 2011, 11:52 pm TWN
Fielding questions at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on “Why Taiwan Matters,” Kurt M. Campbell said the U.S. government recognizes the various measures adopted by Taiwan to meet the requirements for obtaining visa waiver status.
Given the frequent civilian exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S., Campbell said, Taiwan's inclusion in the VWP would facilitate the expansion of bilateral engagement and tourism.
During the hearing, Representative Theodore Deutch asked Campbell which important steps or procedures Taiwan has not yet completed to qualify for VWP inclusion, to which Campbell responded that major progress has been made and that the U.S. is in the process of assessing the various steps taken by Taiwan to meet the requirements.
Pressed by Deutch to give a timeframe for completing the procedure, Campbell said that what is certain is that “we are working toward the finish line” and that concrete progress will be seen in the “very near term.”
Campbell also said that the U.S. will not take a stand on Taiwan's upcoming presidential election.
“We don't take up candidates, we don't take sides,” said Campbell at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in response to questions from Representative Bill Johnson.